Every morning, religiously, I get out of all my clothes, tuck my stomach in, turn the scale on, and climb on it. For the last two years I have been trying to lose three kilos. I’ve dieted, tried intermittent fasting, morning exercise, and eliminated sugars. The three kilos are still there, clinging to my body as I am clinging to the idea that I’m fat. I’ve always been fat. I was one of those tight-legged babies and that’s why my mom became an expert in cutting the elastics off of my panties so they wouldn’t mark my chubby legs. I suffered the bullying that every overweight girl lives. I had few friends, zero suitors and no aspiration to be part of the popular girls at school.
My cousins sang to me, “and Monica advances and advances with her belly bouncing, and like a big beach ball, she bounces and bounces “... I’m 34 years old and I still remember their voices singing the song like an anthem. When adolescence arrived, physical changes happened. I stretched out and dropped weight. I was beautiful, but the damage was done. Having wide hips and large natural buttocks only filled me with insecurities. My fat percentage is always on the edge and, of course, these buttocks must be filled with something. What many wish they could have, has been a torment for me.
I complain about what every overweight person complains about: finding pants that fit me is impossible, in the bus I can’t fit my hips in any seat, and on TV and magazines there are never women that look like me. Damn it, it is so difficult to be happy like this! My overweight isn’t those three kilos that appear on the scale every morning. My overweight is in my head, in the insistent idea that I’m never skinny enough, in the guilt that accompanies eating a doughnut or ice cream. If you knew me in person, you’d understand how ridiculous my self-perception is. My measurements are 79cm, 68cm, 103cm. I’m Kim Kardashian but without the breasts. And all that after having a baby.
The pressure to be part of a standard is inevitable, and although my parents have always insisted that I’m beautiful, I have always thought that all hens think their own baby chicks are cute. A few days ago, I decided to accept those extra three kilos that refuse to leave my body, appropriate them, wear them with pride. There’s a simple reason: I am the hen now, and I want my little chick to grow up happy with her body, whatever it looks like.
There’s also another reason: I love having my husband touch my buttocks, but on this subject, I don’t want to go into detail because I know my parents read my columns. I keep fasting intermittently, evading sugars and doing morning exercise because they make me feel like I take care of my body. I do it a little for health reasons and a little for vanity – because a little vanity doesn’t hurt anyone. I’ve been happier since I decided to accept myself and being thankful for what I got. Last weekend I even put on a crop top. Take that cousins!
Text originally published in The Sunday Magazine of the newspaper La Nación, Costa Rica
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